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Old but good gear

What’s your favorite old piece of gear that you’ve had and used for years?

My 35 year old North Face down mummy bag is mine.  It’s so old it was made in USA !!!

 I just washed it, fluffed it and it still puffs right up.  It has no side baffle allowing me to move down to the top or bottom half depending on temperature.

It’s been my pal on many adventures.

A good sleeping bag is your friend.  I have a Marmot that is around that age, and still have a duck down bag from REI that I bought in 1968.  I like the old Ketly Tiogas and have two of them that I bought used.  They are reserved as loaners or for longer trips. 

I still have my Boy Scout cook set from 1960.  Most of my backpacking equipment has been updated.  Wish I still had the old Optimus 80 gas stove. 

I have a wall tent from 1980 that is full of memories every time I set it up.  I have lived in it for a month at a time. 

Mine was my poncho liner or “woobie” that I bought at the clothing sales store soon after arriving at my first army duty station. This would have been around mid-87, and I finally had to get rid of it maybe 4 or 5 years ago. My woobie and I went through a lot together; hundreds of days & nights in the field where I used it as a warm weather blanket, sleeping bag when tied into my poncho, extra insulation in my sleeping bag, sun shade in the desert, wrapped up in it on cold days/nights on radio watch in armored vehicles (they‘re damp and suck the warmth out of you) or at a guard post/observation post (they break up the distinctive outline of a human head with a helmet on it, tied under the dash of my doorless humvee to keep a little heat on my legs, or just as a blanket when sleeping on a friend’s couch or napping at home. I bought another one but it just isn’t the same.

Kelty Sonora external frame pack. Purchased in the late 70s early 80s.  Used as an on-trail gear hauler.  I have carried as much as 120 pounds with this pack.  I have replaced the bag and harness multiple times over the decades.  It is my go to pack for most of my hiking trips.

A very large volume Wilderness Experience internal frame pack.  Purchased in the early 80s.  Don't recall the name or the exact volume; I estimate between 80 -100 liters.  I have carried 80 pounds for weeks on mountaineering treks with this pack.  My current use is ski mountaineering (hauling lighter loads!).

Trailwise 60/40 parka.  Purchased in the early 70s.  This is by far the best damn wind shell design I have ever seen.  Minimal seams, yet streamline and well proportioned.  I used it nowadays for around town in weather. 

MSR Firefly white gas stove, purchased in the early/mid 80s.  It has similar heat specs to the MSR XKG series, but the Firefly was also good as a simmer cooking stove.  I have modified it extensively and pair it with a custom lidded pot and windscreen, to be a high efficiency snow melter/water boiler for winter camping.

Asolo Expedition telemark leather touring boots.  I acquired these in the mid 80s.  By far the most comfortable heavy boot I ever wore  The felt inner boot make them feel like bedroom slippers.  Really!  Yet they made easy work of cranking out turns when called upon.  I still use them on many of my ski treks.

Bull Dog Brand camping billies.  Purchased this nesting set of cooking pots in the late 1970s.  Fairly light weight, but will not dent unless abused.  I am happy with the trade off.  Their width/height proportions pots made from aluminum make efficient use of stove heat.  I have since lightened them, replacing the steel bails and lid handles with Ti materials.

Ed

 

2 polarfleece hats, both about 30 years old.  one a patagonia hat, curly/fuzzy inside, smooth surface outside, the other with a double layer of fleece around the bottom & the earflaps, that one has ties dangling.  still two of my favorite cold weather hats.  

My trusty old TNF Ring Oval intention that I bought new in 1979 for $179 on sale.  After the fly degraded from UV after 30 years of use I had a river runner gear repair shop build a full fly out of super heavy duty silicon impregnated yellow fabric.  I recently picked up a never used original blue fly for it as well.  The floor has been repaired and is now worn thread bare so I'll be approaching TNF this year to see if they will replace it.  They just replaced the door zippers on one of my TNF Sleeve Oval intention.  Made in Berkley CA.

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Since the floor leaks I currently consider this a single(1) season tent.  It has been replaced by the Mountain Hardwear Double Wall Satellite below.

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In 1981 I purchased a used Marmot Mountain Works Bivy for $27.................a single hooped 1st generation Gore-Tex bivy called the Burrow.  The thing was and is frekin amazing.  No matter how much and how hard it ever rained it never let a drop of water thru to the interior.  Never once did I ever experience condensation in this bivy.  Made in Grand Junction CO.

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I have a 1st generation Marmot Talus day/overnight pack that I've been using for everything as my general pack around city pack as well as light hiking and other than dirty, shows almost no sign of wear.  

Also, I must give credit to my Tilley Hats made by Tilley Endurables.  Every time I wear out one of there hats they replace it with another due to their life time warranty.  They've currently replaced 4 hats and I'm about to send a 5th in.

Because of the sinfully low price that used gear brings, it just never made any sense to me to basically just give away good gear.   I always have a use for left over gear.  Bug out bags, loaner gear, backup gear, emergency gear.   I also never ever buy new gear unless it's at least 60% retail price and has dozens of positive reviews. 

I have plenty of old gear which is more than useable  and often is  but probably my favorite is a 39yr old Wilderness Experience 5 pocket pack which has been overloaded, abused, dragged over rocks and has a zillion miles on it [next trip maybe]  and is still my go to pack 3seasons.

My first Hav-a-Hank is pretty special to me. It's all beat up, but is still in my pack every time I head out.

Oh yeah, Old Town canoe in wood and canvas from 1951.  I have a 1929 Johnson outboard engine that has been in the family since 1948.  It still runs.  My Dad still has the Trapper Nelson from the 1940s that I started backpacking with in 1960.  Oak frame with canvas bag and still in good condition. 

I think we've run this racecourse before...

https://www.trailspace.com/forums/climbing/topics/133733.html#134107

Its the great thing about aging Big Red, everything is brand new. 

I wasn’t even aware of Trailspace 7 years ago.  Maybe I’ll forget about all of this and redo this topic 7 years from now.

This old mess kit . I estimate it is at least 60 years old. It belonged to my favorite uncle Jim O’Brien from Michigan. A wonderful patience man who always had time for his nephews. I found it a little over 10 years ago in the shed. Been using it every since. Best set I’ve found. ( I’ve looked and looked, haven’t found anything better)  Use the whole set for car camping and parts of it when hiking with partners. Plus it forces me to remember a wonderful uncle every time I use it. God bless an uncle who made so many sacrifices in so many ways for us. 


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My oldest gear isn't nearly as old as some of these, but I have a Arc'teryx Sebring from 1997, so 22 years old now, and it's seen me on more adventures (both urban and outback) than I could ever count, and it still looks almost good as new. I broke one of the sternum strap clips last decade and have had a series of replacements that fall off or get lost, but the rest is still in great shape. My only wish is that it might have an external pocket for a water bottle. 

I also have my classic Morakniv from 1994 or therabouts. It's actually in desperate need of a good sharpening, but it has gone on every hike I've ever taken since I got it. 

Jayson Merryfield said:

My oldest gear isn't nearly as old as some of these, but I have a Arc'teryx Sebring from 1997, so 22 years old now, and it's seen me on more adventures (both urban and outback) than I could ever count, and it still looks almost good as new. I broke one of the sternum strap clips last decade and have had a series of replacements that fall off or get lost, but the rest is still in great shape. My only wish is that it might have an external pocket for a water bottle. 

I also have my classic Morakniv from 1994 or therabouts. It's actually in desperate need of a good sharpening, but it has gone on every hike I've ever taken since I got it. 

 A shoe store could sew on an extra pocket, especially if you provide the material.

Old Guide said:

 A shoe store could sew on an extra pocket, especially if you provide the material.

 ..or a shoe repair or luggage repair shop.  They might also be able to fix the buckle once and for all.

I have a Bergans rucksack that I bought for ski mountaineering in 1958.  I used it for that and for summer climbing as well.  It now has a few scuff marks on it.  I seldom use it anymore.  It resides in my “too many memories to get rid of” box.

August 14, 2020
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